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Danger Strykes at Whanganui

Lightly raced Cambridge visitor Danger Strykes confirmed she has big future ahead of her with a comprehensive victory in the Listed John Turkington Forestry Ltd Castletown Stakes (1200m) at Whanganui on Saturday. Handled confidently by rider Ryan Elliot, the Tony Pike-trained filly settled nicely on the outer behind a hot speed set up by race favourite Taoiseach. Angled into the clear at the 300m, Danger Strykes quickly dashed to the lead before holding out a late run from Ima Roca Bee to win by...

June 5, 2021

Mai Tai gets deserved black type victory

Progressive mare Mai Tai added another feather to her cap when she picked up her first victory at stakes level with a win in the Listed Manawatu ITM Anzac Mile (1600m) at Awapuni on Sunday. Sent out a warm favourite ($2.60) for the race, punters never had a moment of concern courtesy of a picture-perfect ride by Sam Collett, who collected her second black type victory for the weekend after taking out the Gr.2 Easter Handicap (1600m) at Ellerslie aboard Demonetization on Saturday. Collett made fu...

April 25, 2021

Easifar claims stakes win

Wentwood Grange bred and sold filly Easifar (NZ) (Pride of Dubai) landed black-type in the Listed Eureka Stud Princess Stakes (1630m) at Doomben on Saturday.  Ridden by Luke Dittman the Chris Waller-trained filly fumbled out of the gates from barrier one but managed to remain amongst the front runners before settling in fourth position on the rails.  Dittman got to work on her from the 400m mark and she duly obliged running down the leader Tycoon Evie to score by half-a-length on the l...

April 25, 2021

Kolding smashes A$6 million in stakes

Wentwood Grange graduate Kolding (NZ) (Ocean Park) smashed through the A$6 million in stakes mark with a gritty win in the Gr.1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.  Kolding and Savatiano edged clear over the final 200m in a two-horse war and the Godolphin mare looked to get the better of the gutsy gelding before Kolding kicked back on the line to nab her by a short half-head. “I did think we were beaten and then I could just gradually see him coming and I was thinki...

April 25, 2021

Ellerslie win for Mai Tai

by Te Akau RacingIn training for the Hawkins’ family of Wentwood Grange, Mai Tai  (4 m Atlante – Tropical Punch, by Faltaat) justified her $1.90 tote support with an impressive victory in the Barfoot & Thompson 1400 on Easter Saturday at Ellerslie.An unlucky fifth on Derby Day last month at Ellerslie, the winner of four from nine showed her ability to quicken on Saturday as she launched from fifth with an irresistible finish, sprinting clear to win by three and a half lengths.“She was...

April 3, 2021

Ruakaka filly strengthens Oaks bid with thrilling victory

Lightly raced filly Spine Tingle sent shivers down the backs of plenty of her potential Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) rivals with a stunning victory at New Plymouth on Saturday. Bred and raced by the Hawkins family under their Llanhennock Trust banner, the Super Easy three-year-old went into Saturday’s Listed Fasttrack Insurance Oaks Prelude (1800m) at New Plymouth with just two runs under her belt, including a last start victory over 1400m on her home track at Ruakaka...

February 6, 2021

Kermadec provides Karaka update

 VIDEO: Sabie Park parading as a yearling...

January 4, 2021

No time for Mai Tais as Karaka looms

COVID-19 hit plenty of racing plans when it closed the industry down in March, not least that of promising mare Mai Tai. Mai Tai was getting set for her second start following a fourth placing on debut when lockdown hit, forcing trainer Jamie Richards and owners Llanhennock Trust – made up of the Hawkins family from Wentwood Grange in Cambridge – to wait until the current season to get her career going. But she hasn’t disappointed, topping off a very good five months with victory in the St...

December 28, 2020

Cheers for Mai Tai at Ellerslie

Wentwood Grange-bred and owned mare Mai Tai delivered a great Christmas present in the Stella Artois Championship Final (1500m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.  “I’m really proud of Mai Tai, who has made a lot of progress recently,” trainer Jamie Richards said. “I was a little worried about her being back right-handed today, but she’s handling everything very professionally in this campaign.  “She’s very effective at what she does. “She’ll probably have a bit of a break n...

December 26, 2020

Dragon Storm takes out thrilling New Zealand Cup

Ruakaka raider Dragon Storm produced the performance of his life when he took out the Gr.3 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup (3200m) at Riccarton in a thrilling finish to the time-honoured event. The Chris Gibbs-trained six-year-old was well fancied in the race after a stunning five-length victory in his final lead-up run over 3000m.  By Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) winner Shocking out of two-time Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m) winner Prize Lady, his undoubted staying credentials strengthened hi...

November 14, 2020

Winning double for Wentwood graduates

Stephen Marsh posted a winning double at Te Aroha with a pair of Wentwood Grange-bred gallopers. Debutant Raggedy Doll picked up a cash bonus for her connections when winning the NZB Insurance Pearl Series Race (1200m). The four-year-old daughter of Hallowed Crown and Group One winner Miss Raggedy Ann had six trial starts on her record before her trip to the races and despite showing a lack of ringcraft, finished the best in a four horse field. “She has been a slow maturing filly and has alway...

November 10, 2020

The Chosen One a brave Cup fourth

New Zealand-trained stayer The Chosen One finished a gallant fourth in Tuesday’s Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) won by the Joseph O’Brien-trained Twilight Payment. O’Brien’s father Aidan again played second fiddle to his son, with Tiger Moth finishing runner-up, reminiscent of the 2017 Melbourne Cup, when Joseph’s Rekindling denied Aidan’s Johannes Vermeer. Perennial Cup placegetter Prince Of Arran finished third ahead of the Kiwi. Prepared by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, The Chose...

November 3, 2020

Bennett hoping for a Karaka day at Flemington

While Flying Start Syndications Director Cameron Bennett is disappointed he won’t be able to be on course to watch Let’s Karaka Deel in the Gr.1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday, he is over the moon to have a strong contender in the race. The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained colt is one of the form horses of the field, having won and placed twice in his four career starts, including a last-start runner-up performance in the Gr.3 Neds Classic (2000m) at Caulfield. “It ...

October 27, 2020

McDonald amped for Cox Plate ride

Expat New Zealand jockey James McDonald may have failed to regain his ride aboard star Kiwi mare Verry Elleegant for the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) but he is looking forward to riding her compatriot in another Group One feature this weekend. The leading Sydney hoop will partner the Chris Waller-trained Kolding in the Gr.1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday where the Ocean Park gelding has drawn gate 10 in the 14 horse field. Kolding has won his last two assignments, including the Gr....

October 21, 2020

Kolding Cox Plate bound

Dual Group One winner Kolding is Cox Plate bound following a facile win in the Gr.2 Quincy Seltzer Hill Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.  The last start winner of the Gr1. George Main Stakes (1600m) was the first of four winners for jockey James McDonald on the  feature race day.  Jumping from barrier two McDonald settled the five-year-old son of Ocean Park on speed,  easing away from the field from the 400m mark to claim a two-length victory over Avili...

October 4, 2020

Emocean rises to the task in Classic

Four-year-old mare High Emocean (NZ) (Ocean Park) has added black-type to her already impressive resume with a dominant victory in the Listed R.M. Ansett Classic (2415m) at Mornington on Sunday.By Ocean Park, the mare has now won five from 11 races with another five placings and continues to impress the stable with her toughness.“That was fantastic, she’s an amazing little filly, she’s very brave,” co-trainer David Eustace said.“It was the plan to come here and win a stakes r...

September 28, 2020

Baker chases fifth Underwood crown

Hall of Fame trainer Murray Baker has won the Gr.1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield four times already so he well knows the formidable task he has set for The Chosen One on Saturday. Baker's previous four winners - The Phantom (1990), Lion Tamer (2011), Dundeel (2013) and Bonneval (2017) - would easily find a place among a who's who of New Zealand galloping greats over the past 30 years. While five-year-old Savabeel entire The Chosen One has won six of his 23 starts - four of those at stake...

September 24, 2020

Kolding claims second Group One

Wentwood Grange graduate Kolding claimed the second Group One win of his career in the Gr.1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.  The five-year-old son of Ocean Park was a star of the spring last season, winning the Gr.1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and the inaugural winner of the $7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m).   Jockey Tommy Berry rode Kolding forward from barrier seven settling him in second position outside of the leader Dreamforce, before quickening at the 300m ma...

September 21, 2020

High Emocean a quality stayer in the making

Progressive staying filly High Emocean (NZ) (Ocean Park) has continued her own winter rise through the grades and in the process ended the winning sequence of her stablemate Persan at Caulfield.Persan was chasing his fourth-straight city win this winter and fifth victory in his past six starts in Saturday’s Mark Needham Handicap (2394m) for three-year-olds in which he had to lump top weight of 62kg.The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Persan started the $3.80 favourite and sett...

July 26, 2020

Avondale win for Make Time

The Stephen McKee-trained Make Time (NZ) (Makfi) broke maiden ranks on Wednesday with a comfortable victory at Avondale in testing conditions. The three-year-old gelding, who races in the Go Racing silks for the Penrhyn Syndicate, had been building up to the win running third in each of his three previous starts before racing was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We had to ease off him because of lockdown,” McKee said. “He did have that fitness edge and I was pretty sure...

July 24, 2020

Sully set to thrive in wet conditions

Group One performer Sully will be vying to nab an elusive stakes victory when he contests the Listed WJ McKell Cup (2000m) at Rosehill on Saturday. The five-year-old son of Reliable Man has placed at stakes level on five occasions, including the Gr.1 Victoria Derby (2500m), Gr.1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m), and Gr.2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m). The gelding has been hampered by a few issues, but trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young are excited to send their horse north to Sydney to conte...

June 23, 2020

Diamondsandbubbles relishing Pakenham surface

Former Kiwi Diamondsandbubbles continued her strong form on the synthetic track at Pakenham on Friday, setting a new track record when successful over 2200m. The David Brideoake-trained daughter of Commands came with a well-timed run under in-form rider Billy Egan to defeat Mr Monaco. The five-year-old mare has now won three of her 10 starts for Brideoake, having commenced her career in the care of Moira Murdoch for whom she was a winner. “She is going super and it was good to get her back o...

June 19, 2020

High class filly scores at Sandown

Trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace secured an early double at Sandown on Wednesday with a pair of Kiwi-bred fillies.The stable's first win came the way of Mystique Falcon breaking her maiden before Maher teamed up with jockey Jye McNeil again to win the following race with Ocean Park three-year-old High Emocean. It was the second win on-end for the filly and Maher admitted to being fairly confident heading into the 2400m event. “She has really bounced through her last run,” Maher said. ...

June 17, 2020

Melbourne Cup realistic target for young Kiwi stayer

Cambridge trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman were delighted with the gallant performance of The Chosen One, who finished second to fellow New Zealand raider Etah James in Saturday’s Gr.1 Sydney Cup (3200m). The Chosen One finished 0.2 lengths behind the winner on a less than ideal Heavy8 surface.   “It was obviously a very testing track and I was actually surprised how well he performed on it,” Forsman said. “In the end, the track conditions probably cost him. The winner ...

April 13, 2020

Lim's Dashing scores first-up

Daniel Meagher gave further proof of his reputation as a patient trainer after Lim’s Dashing (NZ) (Darci Brahma) scored first-up from a 10-month spell in Singapore on Friday night.Lim's Dashing was bred under Wentwood Grange's Llanhennock Trust banner before being sold through their 2014 New Zealand Bloodstock draft.The eight-year-old gelding was a stable transfer from Stephen Gray and came with a handy record of three wins and 10 placings from 25 starts before needing a bone chip operation. ...

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